And some of our national leaders (more 'nationalist' if you get the point...) can think of nothing better to say than "jo aag Pakistan ne Bharat ke liye lagayi thi us mein woh khud hi jal raha hai"
Very mature, very politically wise, very relevant and oh such a boost to the ongoing peace-process between the two neighbours.
I take it I don't really need to specify the name of the party to which these national leaders belong.
I know we have all given up hope that our politicians would either talk sense or simply shut up. And you'd think that recent victories in a couple of state assemblies would have made them at least temporarily magnanimous, even if they can not be expected to have bestowed upon them the sense to see that retrospection and a fresh line of thought and action might benefit the people who've voted them into power as well as the ailing image of the party itself.
First of all, it was a very childish, petty and inopportune comment to have been made by such experienced political leaders in a country as strewn with controversies and political issues as ours. Not to mention the implications this latest crisis would have for the Pakistani Awam.
Secondly, it is not as if political instability in
As has been pointed out by many a journalist lately, the void in the political picture in a Pakistan struggling desperately to hold onto some semblance of democracy, would only invite and provide for political strengthening of fundamentalist forces in the country. A situation the Pakistani people need and want to avoid as badly as the people of any other country in the world would. As badly as we should too- and not just for our own sakes either.
The fundamentalist forces that claim to have carried off Benazir’s assassination would spell disaster for a democratic
Another point is that when the entire world, including former Ministers in the British government, is openly acknowledging the role American strategic interests and the American dollar played in establishing, strengthening, equipping (with arms, software and foot soldiers- through liberally funded Madarssas ) and training the Al-Qaeda cadre; when The History Channel has been busy showing exactly how the USA used terrorist groups drunk on nationalist and fundamentalist ideals and values to fight the USSR in an Afghanistan fraught with tribal disputes, why do our national parties have to behave like well trained obstinate ostriches???
Why do we have to help breed antipathy towards and disbelief in the democratic cause in
However, the issue isn’t just that here. Without doubt we have to correct our stands and our stances on issues of international importance. But apart from that we also have to look at this crisis in terms of the implications it would have for our own internal security and intelligence networks, security and stability in our border areas and the example this sets for resurgent militant groups in
More over, we have to stop playing our respective communal cards and vote bank politics- a bitter example of which was the one-horse race in
We have to accept that deprivation, marginalization and a callous ostracization from development agendas and processes make for the best possible breeding ground for any kind of militant groups- whether they are rooted in Islamic fundamentalism or not.
Add to that our communal politics and we have an infallible recipe for a failed state, not to say a state steeped in hatred, violence and with no immediate mechanism available to stay together or move forward together.
The blanket comments we make regarding an ever-present all-encompassing popular Pakistani will to attack the development processes or the fragile peace in India only serve to show the immaturity of our political cadre as well as the lack of any kind of understanding in the Indian people of the current terrorist situation and the international political scenario.
We need not only to forge better relations with our neighbours considering our own strategic, security and developmental interests but also to gain a better and correct understanding of their issues, their circumstances, their political and strategic mechanisms, and their needs. We also need to know better than to take the word of our leaders for anything- we need to look at the struggles brewing in almost every corner of our nation for resources, for a sane and sensible political representation. We need to understand what ideologies and governmental behaviour led to such a huge section of our population being left out of all sorts of considerations. We need to ensure that we do not blindly follow the courses charted by our political leaders without considering the effects it would have on other sections of the society and their survival and developmental needs.
And we need to do all this not just to avoid furthering of terrorist interests but because unjust political or social systems could never give us the kind of compassionate, intelligent and broadminded human beings we need to create a sensible and stable world order.
Most importantly, let us all develop the difficult habit of thinking before we comment on things- particularly when the comments form part of a message of dubious commiseration to the hurt and bewildered people of a nation in the throes of social and political turbulence.